The third round of the BRCA championship took the drivers to the most northern circuit on the calendar, Halifax.
The high-speed circuit had been ravaged by floods earlier in the year, and so it was fantastic to see the work that the club had put in to get it back ready to national-level spec.
The practice rounds were dogged by on-and-off rain, leaving most drivers heading into Qualifying with next to no dry running on the track. The Associated Team got off to a solid start, with current BRCA Championship leader Chris Grainger setting the third best time, ahead of his team mates Matthew White (5th) and Zak Smith (6th). The second round saw drivers requiring their ‘wet’ cars, as rain returned to the circuit. Alan Bickerstaff put in a superb run to take second in the round, one place in front of his Team Associated team leader, Chris Grainger. Sunday’s qualifying saw continued performances from the team, until rain again in the final round set the grid with Chris third overall, Alan sixth, Matthew 10th and Zak an unlucky 12th.
Probably the most notable success of the weekend in the CML/Team Associated camp was in the Pro Stock class. Mark ‘Waldo’ Wallace did a great job to battle tricky track conditions to line his Reedy powered Associated TC7 fourth overall, with Chris Clark also placing his Associated seventh in the A Final. But it was young Michael Bolt who took the headlines, setting two top-6 times during qualifying and securing his first BRCA A-Final placing in tenth overall.
The A Finals produced some close racing, with tyre strategies also coming into play. A DNF for Chris Grainger in the first leg left him a little on the back foot, but an emphatic win in leg two, combined with a second in leg three (which experienced a final rain shower half way through!) was enough to give him second overall. Alan Bickerstaff scored a third and two fourth places to finish fifth overall, with Matthew White right behind in sixth.
The result means Chris maintains his lead in the Championship, and extends his advantage over the field to two points. Next up for some of the drivers will be the ETS Finals in Slovakia, where they will race alongside the European and American teams, whilst on the domestic circuit, the classic Mendip track hosts the next round of the BRCA championship.
This past weekend saw us visit the super fast circuit of Halifax for the fourth round of the BTCC championship.
As usual on Saturday many drivers turned up to practice, the weather was mixed and we had the occasional heavy downpour of rain, however due to the temperature it meant that the track would dry very quickly. A few drivers braved the wet conditions but most waited for it to pass.
Sunday was a totally different story, we woke up to bright sunshine and had it for most of the day. We had the usual open practice session first thing and then it was onto the qualifying rounds. Schumacher’s Mark Musgrove gave the drivers briefing and explained the format for the day. This was the usual format of round by round qualifying, with the best 2 from 4 rounds to count.
In the modified class Elliott Harper was away at the touring car Euros in Slovakia for this event, however there were still many fast drivers in attendance. It was Olly Jefferies who took 3 out of the 4 qualifying rounds to secure himself pole position for the final. Behind Olly it was a very close battle between Chris Grainger and Kyle Branson. With Chris winning the final qualifying round, this meant he would line up 2nd on the grid and Kyle 3rd.
In the 13.5 class it was James Hart and Zak Finlay that would be very close on pace throughout the day. Zak coming out on top and therefore this meant he was on Pole position for the A final.
In the 17.5 class it was a dominating performance from Daniel Booker, taking all 4 rounds of qualifying and securing pole position for himself. Behind him it was very close but Michael Ball would line up 2nd and Bradley Coaker 3rd.
Next it was onto the finals, some exciting moves in some and here are the results as follows:
Modified 1 Olly Jefferies 2 Chris Grainger 3 Zak Smith 4 Colin Price - Schumacher Mi6 5 Marcus Askell 6 Stefan Chodzynski 7 Matthew White 8 Darren Lee - Schumacher Mi6 9 Kyle Branson 10 Richard King
13.5 Boosted 1 Zak Finlay 2 Mark Wallace 3 Chris Gunter - Schumacher Mi6 4 Lee Price - Schumacher Mi6 5 Scott Scholey 6 Michael Bolt 7 Mikey Mansell 8 James Robinson 9 Alex Brocklebank - Schumacher Mi6 10 James Hart - Schumacher Mi6
17.5 Blinky 1 Daniel Booker 2 Michael Ball 3 James Stewart 4 Adrian Sully - Schumacher Mi6 5 Bradley Coaker 6 Steve Bessent 7 Andrew Dawson 8 Paul Hill 9 Mike Mansell 10 Keith Jenkins - Schumacher Mi6
A special mention has to go to young Michael Bolt for making the A final in 13.5, he drove great all day and thoroughly deserved to be mixing it in there, well done.
So after all of the great racing in the finals, we had the presentation for the winners and top 3 in each final, this was followed by the traditional Schumacher raffle. Congratulations go to Bryony Freeman for winning the star prize of the Arrowmax set up system. Bryony also showed the boys how to drive in her B final also by taking the win and was rather pleased with herself.
Once again it was a brilliant event, pretty much all drivers leaving with a smile on their face which was great to see.
Many thanks to the Halifax team for everything you did with us, you have all done a fantastic job of getting the track and facilities back in great condition after the floods previously.
The next round will see us at the fast Mendip circuit on Sunday July 31st. Entries still available, so come and get booked in: www.centralbooking.org